By JoAnna Ness, Mar 21 2018 02:00PM
The Steuben County Community Foundation (SCCF) has awarded a one-year grant of $36,080 to the Early Childhood Alliance (ECA), the Child Care Resource & Referral agency serving Steuben County. The grant was awarded to ECA in response to a need for more quality child care options across the county. Building capacity and increasing quality of programs are critical in meeting the needs of Steuben County families, based on a survey of county child care providers, combined with county report data.
“I am always trying to be better at what I do and provide the best care for our community,” said Miranda Curey of Little Munchkins ChildCare, “and having these events and being able to ask the questions I had will help me do this.” Curey is one of the child care providers attending the Steuben County provider events designed to support early childhood education professionals. These events, which give providers from across the county opportunities to learn, network, and share best practices, are hosted by ECA.
These ongoing learning opportunities for providers are just one component of the grant. The grant provides funding to help both new and existing child care programs meet requirements to enroll or advance in Paths to QUALITYTM (Indiana’s quality rating and improvement system). Another key component of the initiative is providing support for providers working to achieve a Child Development Associate credential.
“I believe the early childhood field is overlooked by so many and most people do not know how important a quality program is,” said Tori Cline, director of Kingdom Kids. “When a program embarks on the journey with the Early Childhood Alliance, it helps the whole dynamic of a child care. We are able to educate our staff and our families on the importance of early childhood and really set the stage for children to be excited about learning. Because when you can change the first 5 years, you can change everything."